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Fair's 'Summer Magic' to Run for Quite a Spell: 12 Days, in Fact

August 18, 1988

The Ventura County Fair, which opened Wednesday to the theme of "Summer Magic," is expected to draw nearly 300,000 people during its 12-day run ending Aug. 28.

The 62-acre oceanside grounds is home this year to a midway, complete with carnival barkers, thrill rides and games. But fair-goers will also be treated to more country-flavored exhibits, such as a professional rodeo, a seashell display, a pie-eating competition and a casserole-baking contest.

Gates open at 11 a.m. every day and close at midnight.

Admission for adults is $4 and for seniors and children, $2. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Some of the highlights, from the traditional to the odd, include:

Saturday--The second annual tattoo contest, which attracts some of the county's most elaborately illustrated men and women, will be held at 2 p.m. in front of the Photography Department. Entrants will be judged on the creativity and attractiveness of their tattoos.

Sunday to Tuesday--The Draft, Carriage and Friesian Horse Show will be held for three days in the Morgan Arena. These elegant horses, weighing as much as a ton each, will be ridden saddleback and driven from a carriage.

Tuesday--The fifth annual blessing of marriage, a ceremony in which couples married more than 40 years reaffirm their vows, takes place at noon between the Home Arts and McBride buildings.

Tuesday to Aug. 26--The All-Alaska Racing Pigs will snort their way around a 150-foot oval track four times a day. These porkers, direct from North Pole, Alaska, have been bred for quick acceleration and smooth cornering.

Aug. 27--The lemon-pie competition, one of the oldest and most popular events at the fair, concludes with a grand bake-off and auction at 1 p.m. at the Home Arts Building. A celebrity bake contest at 1 p.m. the next day features several local dignitaries, including Ventura Mayor Jim Monahan, trying their hands at the craft.

And in the Grandstand Arena, where tickets must be purchased separately, a wide range of popular entertainment has been scheduled.

Major performers include Surf City, U.S.A. with Jan and Dean, Billy Ocean, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, Richard Marx, Smokey Robinson, the Wolfman Jack Show, the Charlie Daniels Band and a Rock 'n' Salsa night, featuring the sounds of Poncho Sanchez, Tierra and El Chicano.

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